Document Type



Objective: To assess the outcomes of free flap reconstructions performed for the management of lower limb trauma.
Methods: This retrospective study was conducted at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Karachi and included data from June 2017 to May 2019 of patients who underwent free flap reconstruction as part of management of lower limb trauma.
Results: The mean age of the 8 adult patients was 34±11 years. Also included were two paediatric patients aged 7 and 8 years. Nine of the total 10 patients were male. Road traffic accidents were the most common mechanism of injury, occurring in 5(50%), followed by blast injuries in 3(33%). The anterolateral thigh flap was the most common type of flap used for reconstruction, done in 8(80%) patients. Flap survival rate was 90% and full flap loss was seen in only 1(10%) patient. Re-exploration surgery was done in 5(50%) patients during the same hospital stay. The length of hospital stay varied greatly from 4 to 105 days depending on associated diagnoses and whether the free flap surgery was performed during an elective admission. One patient did not survive to discharge, and the cause of death was attributed to septic complications. Functional outcomes on follow-up could not be determined.
Conclusions: Free flap reconstruction surgery is an effective solution for management of lower limb trauma and has a high flap survival rate. Further studies are needed to ascertain the functional outcomes of limb salvage after free flap surgery.

Publication (Name of Journal)

JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association